Posted by: Debra Kolkka | September 8, 2014

A Helsinki stopover

I love Helsinki. I always stop for a day or 2 on my way to and from Italy. I know the city well and feel at home there. Join me on my day in Helsinki.

I started bright and early in the pretty Esplanadi park.

The late summer gardens are still thriving.


I walked on to the pop-up hotel at Havis Amanda.


Clever people have built a temporary, one room hotel around Helsinki’s mermaid. Here is what she usually looks like.


See more about the hotel here.

The markets beside the harbour were full of delicious produce.

The latest addition to Helsinki harbour is Bad Bad Boy by Tommi Toija. He is bound to start conversations.


Some of the boats in the harbour are put to good use.


Most just sit waiting patiently for their owners.




The gold one was creating the most stunning reflections.



I had an amazing dinner at Ask restaurant.


I wandered back to the hotel past the magnificent Tuomiokirko.


There was a display of lovely old cars in Market Square.

And some ghostly figures in the bandshell in Esplanadi.



Then it was off to sleep to get ready for an early morning flight to Italy.

My Finnair Plus membership once again made my day by upgrading me to business class for the flight to Italy. I have had memberships for years with other airlines and have been offered nothing. Finnair is a great airline and their loyalty programme is wonderful. I am glad I changed over to Finnair Plus.


  1. That’s a really lovely post of Helsinki, you’ve captured the surroundings so well.

    • Helsinki is a beautiful city. I really like my visits there.

  2. I love traveling vicariously through your eye,Debra! Never been to Helsinki looks marvelous. Do you catch Finnair from Australia?

    • Finnair doesn’t fly into Australia. I usually fly into Hong Kong with Qantas or Cathay and then on to Helsinki and Italy with Finnair.

  3. Beautiful photos, Debra! Traveling business class from Australia certainly makes a difference. Glad to hear that Finnair upgraded you!

    • I was only upgraded for the last little bit, but it was good anyway. Now that I am a silver member I get to use the lounges at the airport and this is great.

  4. Such a beautiful city. I’d love to go there.

    • Helsinki is a very stylish city. There is great shopping and some wonderful restaurants. The people are very friendly and efficient…an excellent city to visit.

  5. You manage to find the most interesting places to eat and see. What did you eat at Ask…….looks delicious! How long in Bagni di Lucca this trip? I am sure you will see many changes to the gardens. See you come spring.

    • That course was onions and broad beans. It was one of 4 delicious courses. The garden at Casa Debbio has done well this summer. I will be planting lots of fruit trees soon. You will see a big difference next year.

  6. Gorgeous pics, Debra. Loved that Bad bad boy’s face. He looks so guilty. 🙂

    • He does look guilty doesn’t he?

  7. Sounds you like you had a lovely day in Helsinki. I think you are right – the Bad Bad Boy will start many a discussion. It’s possible to love or loath him but certainly not to ignore him.

    • I think Bad Bad Boy shows that Finns have a sense of humor.

  8. Finair Plus sounds great – none of the other airlines offer that –

  9. From this post and your previous looks at Helsinki, I think I would love to visit some day. Lucky you getting another upgrade…on other airlines they are very hard to come by.

    • I am not sure that Helsinki is at the top of everyone’s list, but I think it is a fabulous place to visit. I hope you get ther one day soon.

  10. I love your stopovers in Helsinki…I’ve never been there but it looks wonderful.

    • It is a beautiful city with lots to see and do.

  11. That bad boy is a little like the little Manneken Pis in Brussels.

    I like the ghostly figures in the bandstand.

    • I haven’t seen the one in Brussels, it is a city I would like to visit.

  12. Looks like you had a wonderful day! Bad Boy Tom did cause me to chuckle … and thanks for the wonderful reminders of the one day I had in Helsinki.

    • One day is better than none, but I hope you go back and have some more time there.

      • Well said.

  13. One day I’ll get there Debra…one day.

    • I’m sure you will love it.

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